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Moree Council General Manager attends COVID-19 State briefing; council update as of 1pm, March 24

MOREE Plains Shire Council General Manager, Lester Rodgers, on Monday participated in a briefing for NSW councils from the State Emergency Operations Centre.

 About 200 people including mayors and general managers across the State participated, receiving briefings from NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard and NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant on the latest COVID-19 developments.

Councils also submitted questions which were answered during the briefing.

These included a range of topics including the impact of COVID-19 on metropolitan areas compared to rural and regional areas, closure of community facilities, cleaning and sanitation, virus testing and data, and impact on council meetings.

Dr Chant re-emphasised the importance of practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene and keeping your distance from others. These measures should be observed by the community at all times.

Everyone should:

Wash hands frequently with soap and water. You handwashing practise should take at least 20 seconds;

Cover coughs and sneezes, dispose of tissues, and wash hands;

If people are unwell, they need to stay home; and

Exercise personal responsibility for social distancing measures – keep a distance of at least 1.5m between each other.

What is Council doing in response to COVID-19?

The health and safety of residents, customers and employees is top priority and council is continuing to monitor daily developments.

Council is planning and taking measures to keep essential services operating. Currently, there is no disruption to core Council services to the community.

A number of other measures have been announced by the Federal and State Governments to ensure mandatory social distancing.

At Council, we have made changes to council service delivery to give effect to this advice which has resulted in some services being discontinued (events, programs and the closure of Shire pools), some services being delivered in a modified way (social distancing queuing changes in our Customer Service Centre) but many services being unaffected.

OPEN Council Facilities and Services

Across our facilities in the Shire, council has increased its cleaning regime and sanitation to ensure High Touch points have greater attention.

Moree Customer Service Centre

Moree Council Customer Service Centre will continue to operate to serve the community.

However, council asks community members observe the hygiene and social distancing recommendations of the Federal Government while at council offices and in the community generally.

When people visit Moree Council Customer Service Centre, they will see some differences which have been put in place to reflect council’s commitment to the Federal Government’s recommendations regarding social distancing.

For example, there is reduced seating.

Council has also placed hand sanitiser on the front counter and ask members of the public to utilise this prior to conducting business with staff including Customer Service officers.

If members of the public are coming to Moree Council Customer Service Centre to address a specific query, for example, in relation to a Development Approval, please call ahead on (02) 6757 3222 so council can address enquiries over the phone if at all possible or if necessary to meet, arrangements can be made for an appropriate meeting room to be available.

Gwydir Daycare and Preschool

This facility remains open and specific advice has been provided to families which use this service.

Shire Libraries

The Moree Community Library remains open at this time.

The Mungindi CTC (including the library operations) remains open at this time.

All activities and programs have been cancelled, until further notice.

Essential Services – Waste Collection

Council operates a weekly general waste collection (red bin) and a fortnightly recycling (yellow bin) and organic (green bin) waste collection. There are no changes to this service at this time.

Essential Services – Water and Sewer Operations

The provision of treated potable water and sewer operations across the Shire is of highest priority. There are no changes to this service at this time.

CLOSED Council Facilities and Services

MAAC

The MAAC was closed yesterday, Monday 23 March 2020 and will remain closed until further notice.  For further information, please email [email protected].

Mungindi Pool and Boomi Pool

For other pool operations in the Shire, there are significant challenges for the aquatic operations to implement the social distancing requirements. As such, we have taken the decision to close both the Mungindi and Boomi pools until further notice.

For Mungindi pool, all upfront memberships will receive time extensions for the period of our closure.

For Boomi pool, all upfront memberships will receive time extensions for the period of our closure.

Child Restraint Hire Program

Council hires out child restraints but this program will be suspended, until further notice. Current bookings will be extended free of charge and no future bookings will be taken.

Council events and public gatherings

In response to advice regarding COVID-19 and public gatherings, several Council-run, Council-funded community events or events being held at Council facilities have been postponed or cancelled, including:

  • ANZAC Day commemoration services (cancelled as per NSW RSL Direction)
  • Moree Markets, April and May (cancelled)
  • Seniors Festival 2020 (cancelled)
  • Youth Week Activities 2020 (cancelled)
  • Moree Show (postponed)

For residents and visitors

Council urges residents to adhere to Federal Government’s COVID-19 health advice, which is the leading source of accurate health advice and alerts in Australia.

For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19, go to:

NSW Health:  https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Pages/default.asp

Federal Government, Department of Health: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx

 Smartraveller: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

The information set out in this Media Release is current as at 1pm, Tuesday 24 March 2020.

Updates will be provided on Council’s website and Facebook page.